You Asked, We Answered

By on October 19, 2012, in Soft Surroundings

Let’s face it; beauty can be complicated. Over the years, you’ve asked our experts questio

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ns, and we’ve tried to answer them all. Now it’s time to share. We’ve compiled a bunch of the most popular questions from our website, complete with answers.

Question: I hear people talking all the time about cool and warm skintones, but I’m not sure what mine is. Is there an easy way to figure out what my skintone is?

Answer: Yes, there is. We suggest following these steps:

1. Turn over your arm and look at your veins. If the veins on your wrist look blue or bluish-purple, then you have blue undertones, which means you have a cool skintone. Veins that appear greenish indicate yellow undertones, which means you have a warm skintone.

2. Hypothetically, if you were to sit out in the sun for an hour with no sun protection, would your skin get sunburned? If the answer is yes, then you probably have a cool skintone. If there isn’t much change, or you turn browner, then you have a warm skintone.

3. Gently cleanse your face and do not apply any products. After a few minutes, hold a piece of white paper up to your face. If you skin looks yellow or golden, you have a warm skintone. If it looks pinkish or bluish red, then you have a cool skintone.

4. It might also help to see how gold and silver jewelry look against your skin. If silver jewelry looks better on you, then you have a cool skintone. If gold jewelry looks better, then your skintone is warm.

If, after following these steps, you’re still not sure about whether you have a cool or warm skintone, try using a product with neutral undertones.


Question: In what order should I apply my makeup? Does it matter?

Answer: Yes, there actually is a correct order:

First, apply moisturizer or a facial primer to plump up the skin and conceal enlarged pores and fine lines. Apply your foundation next; it should glide on smoothly over your now-hydrated skin. If you have any skin imperfections, dark circles or uneven coloring, you can dot on a concealer. Now it’s time for blush or bronzer, if you’re going to use it. At this point, you can apply a translucent powder if your face appears to shiny or if you have oily skin.

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If your skin is on the drier side and prone to fine lines, you might want to skip this step and move on, or you can add a small dot of moisturizer for a dewy, luminous look.

Now we can get to the good stuff! Start with your eyebrows, which is one part of the face that many women overlook. Don’t do it! Brows are the frames of your face and need looking after. After that, you can add eye shadow and eyeliner, if you’re going to use them. Finish by curling your lashes and applying mascara. Add a dash of lipstick or gloss, and you’re ready to go!


Question: Why doesn’t perfume ever last on me?

Answer: Because everybody’s body chemistry is different, scent is different on everyone. This includes how long it lasts. There are some people who tend to absorb scent faster than others. If this is a challenge for you, try wearing a perfume oil, as this is the most concentrated form of fragrance and will last the longest. You can also try layering scent in many different applications or just reapply throughout the day.


Question: Are all shampoos and conditioners safe for color treated and highlighted hair?

Answer: No—not all products are safe for color treated hair. Clarifying products can tend to strip hair color. A good rule of thumb is to always double-check if the product is not specifically meant for color treated hair.


Question: I know that it’s better to use certain colors to cover certain flaws, but what colors cover what?

Answer: Color correction utilizes principles from the color wheel; colors opposite each other neutralize each other. So to cover redness, use green. To neutralize dark circles, yellow and peach tones work well. Lavender will brighten a sallow complexion. Try Stila’s One Step Correct, which is triple-swirled with all three colors to color-correct, brighten your complexion and minimize imperfections in one simple step.


Question: What exactly is a toner and why do I need it?

Answer: Toner is a product designed to help restore the pH balance to your skin. Having proper balance to your skin is important because it allows treatment and hydration products to work more effectively. Toners can also help buy viagra online to remove excess oil and dirt that may be left behind after cleansing. One of our favorites is the Soothing Apricot Toner from Elemis. The Alcohol-free formula is very gentle, so it’s suitable to extra-sensitive, delicate skin.


Question: How can I create and shape the perfect brows?

Answer: The right brow shape immediately gives your eyes a big lift, opens them up and chases a few years away. All brows need to be groomed a bit, so think “up” as you work; tweeze them up from underneath. You may want to go to a professional to have them done initially and then maintain them at home. Or if you want to shape them yourself, try using the three-point pencil technique for creating the perfect arch. Avoid a downward slope to the outer end of the brow, as it tends to emphasize any drooping:

1. Line up a pencil or pen vertically from the side of your nostril up to your eyebrow. This is ideally where you want your eyebrow to begin.

2. Now angle the pencil from the side of your nostril to the outside of your iris. This is where the highest part of your arch should be.

3. Lastly, angle the pencil from the side of your nostril to the outer part of the eye. The spot where it intersects with your brow is where your eyebrow should naturally end.

Here are a few more eyebrow tips:

• Don’t get over-enthusiastic with the tweezer and over-tweeze, or you’ll end up with thin, sparse-looking brows. If you want to thicken your brows, consider trying an eyebrow growth product. For a temporary fix, try filling it in with Touchback Browmarker, a soft-tip marker that enhances the fullness of brows.

• Make sure to use the right tools. We love brushes from Jane Iredale, which are perfect for maintaining your brows at home or in between visits to your esthetician.

• Finally, remember that your eyebrows are sisters, not identical twins. The natural shape may vary slightly from brow to brow, and that’s okay!


Question: My face just seems to absorb makeup. What can I do about it?

Answer: It sounds as if you need a good primer. Just like you would prime a wall before painting, you need to use a primer before applying your makeup. Primers create a barrier between your skin and makeup. This has two benefits: one, it keeps your makeup on your face longer; and two, it helps to keep your pores free from absorbing makeup. In addition, a good primer fills in lines, evens skintone and erases flaws, providing an ideal surface for foundation and face color. Try Perfect Primer from Paula Dorf, The Sensual Skin Primer from Kevyn Aucoin or Jane Iredale’s Smooth Affair.



  • Donna

    I haven’t spent as much time as I would like on this website, but so far, like what I’m seeing and reading…
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  • Anita

    I love your website! You provide so much interesting information. I love the help with how to mix and match my clothes as well as help in using cosmetics. Keep up the good news for us!

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  • Mary

    I’m fair-complected and recovering from a recent Rytec Plasma treatment to my face. Soon I will need the required ‘quality mineral foundation’ to help protect my tender new skin from the elements.
    Q) In my case is the Jane Iredale primer a wise decision (safe) as well as her Mineral BB Cream?

    • Soft Surroundings

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for reaching out. Jane Iredale mineral cosmetics are very gentle, but in a situation like yours we suggest checking with your doctor to make sure these products are safe to use after your treatment.

      Soft Surroundings

  • Cynthia

    I just stumbled across a reference to your site and checked it out immediately. I was browsing bronzers when this site was mentioned and got some great eye make up tips. I’ll be back. Thanks!

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